Wind Turbine Collapse in New Brunswick will create “Green Jobs”

Just over a year ago our PM, Justin Trudeau was caught talking about a “reset” during a UN virtual conference stating: “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset,“ and went on to say; “ This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.” Trudeau was pilloried by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre for the remark as it seemingly connected with; “The Great Reset” propagated by the WEF (World Economic Forum) where the rich elites of the world gather annually to plot the global transition to a “great reset” with “climate change” as their main focus!

The calls from the WEF and others pushing the “net-zero” transition have overcome the Federal Liberal Party and they have proffered different titles such as “Building Back Better” the “Just Transition” etc. and in all those scenarios they claim; executing them will create a million jobs! 

Needless to say, those calls, now spanning six years, are failing to create those jobs but continued support of the concept by the MSM (main stream media) has convinced many citizens and corporations to jump on board. The latter have done this by doing what they believe they can to reduce their emissions (based on what they are told) by transitioning their business in different ways in order to, presumably, avoid the increasing “carbon taxes” they would face. 

One such company is Alberta based, TransAlta Corporation via their 60.09% ownership in TransAlta Renewables (as of December 31, 2020) and the Federal Regulations imposing “coal-to-gas” regulations sped up by Catherine McKenna, when Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.  TransAlta, as of December 31, 2021 reported they had completed the latter task well ahead of the 2030 deadline.  TransAlta is pushing hard to achieve the “net zero” pinnacle and based on their annual 2020 ESG report their “greenhouse gas emissions are now down to just over 16 tonnes from 42 million tonnes in 2005.

Those green jobs are shrinking

The other thing that’s fallen as well as emissions, is the number of people TransAlta employ. The oldest annual report posted on their website is for 2017 and at that time they reported having 2,341 employees in 2016 but their 2020 annual report indicates employment fell to 1,476 at December 31, 2020, a drop of 865 jobs or almost 37%!  Gross revenues also fell from $2,397 million in 2016 to $2,101 million in 2020 for a drop of $296 million or 12.3%.

The foregoing push by TransAlta to reduce emissions appears to be having the opposite effect Trudeau promised us in his “build back better” speeches as both revenue and staff levels fell!   

TransAlta’s majority-controlled subsidiary; “TransAlta Renewables” near the end of 2021 got some bad news too, as an industrial wind turbine at their Kent Hills 167 MW (megawatt) IWT (industrial wind turbines) complex in New Brunswick collapsed. An investigation determined all 50 of the 3 MW turbines bases would need to be replaced whereas the remaining five (5) were OK! The estimated cost to replace the bases could be as high as $100 million and take until the end of 2023.  They estimate their revenue base will decline $3.4 million per month until the turbines are back up and running.

Here come those “green jobs”

One assumes the $75 to $100 million estimate to replace the bases will require lots of cement (close to 2,000 tons per turbine) and rebar and a crew plus equipment to first disassemble the 50 turbines and later to reassemble them.  It’s unclear as to whether they will remove the cement from the flawed bases but if they do it will require a crew plus equipment and quite a bit of dynamite.

All of the foregoing activities will play a hand in creating jobs over the two years of the rebuild but will, no doubt, create emissions.

When the workers have completed the reassembly, it will be seen as a perfect opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, to have a media appearance to tell us how the great “reset” is proceeding and the myriad of jobs* it created!

Any questions about the full carbon footprint of those rebuilt IWT and the jobs temporarily created at the media event will be tossed aside as will the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind generation which always requires dependable power (frequently fossil fueled) to back it up. Trudeau and his “climate change” Minister, Guilbeault, will insist the “transition to net-zero” and “building back better” is working to the benefit of all Canadians!

Canada’s taxpayers need to initiate a “political reset” and dump those Liberal politicians who seem intent on creating Venezuela north!  We voters in Ontario did it by recreating the Ontario Liberal Party as the “minivan party” so the time has come to do it again at the next election!

*Ontarians will remember the same promises from the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal years!

 

Wind Hammers Ontario Ratepayers and Taxpayers

Yesterday (January 5, 2022) Ontarians were once again battered by gusting winds approaching 90 km at times and those with ownership of industrial wind turbines (IWT) in the province were loving it!  Our neighbours in Michigan, New York and Quebec, etc. also were pleased as they collectively took 59,242 MWh (megawatt hours)) of the 90,146 MWh generated by those IWT and only had to pay an average of $17.33/MWh (1.7 cents/kWh).

The 90,146 MWh ($135/MWh) added to the 7,800 MWh ($120/MWh) of curtailed wind generation drove the total cost of wind generation for the day to $13,106,000 or $145.39/MWh (14.5 cents/kWh).

Those IWT generated an average of just over 85% of their rated capacity throughout the day (including the curtailed MW) and 58% of their generation was exported for those very cheap prices.  I’m confident the trading companies buying and selling our surplus generation for our neighbours also enjoy the benefits we bestow on them too by creating the trading revenue.  

So, we generated approximately $1,027,000 from the sale of those 59,242 MWh but they cost us Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers about $8,613,000. That means we subsidized the sale with $7,586,000 or $128.00/MWh of our after-tax dollars!  We hope our neighbouring states and provinces are very appreciative of our continuing generosity!

We Ontario taxpayers and ratepayers should appreciate the very recent “mea culpa” expressed by our former Premier, Kathleen Wynne, in her interview with MacLean’s magazine when asked about issues she didn’t feel good about stated: “Well, I score myself very low on the electricity price,” Wynne said.“

Hey, Kathleen, we ratepayers and taxpayers score you and your predecessor, Dalton McGuinty and those minions like Gerald Butts, Katie Telford and Ben Chin who pulled your strings very low too. Perhaps your handling of the electricity file is why the Ontario Liberal Party became the EV (electric vehicle) minivan party. 

The unfortunate part of your party’s demise is Butts, Telford and Chin now pull the strings of the Liberal Party of Canada and seem intent on perpetuating your low scores on all of Canada’s energy security!

Industrial Wind Turbines Once Again are Up to Their Old Tricks

Those IWT brought to Ontario by the McGuinty/Wynne led Ontario Liberals, during the time they governed the province, once again showed their ability to suck money from ratepayers and taxpayers pockets on December 12, 2021. 

The heavy winds arrived on December 11th and caused power outages to 280,000 customers due to broken poles, fallen trees and hazardous road conditions as reported by Hydro One.  While the winds decreased somewhat, IESO data indicates they were more than sufficient to allow them to generate 73,849 MWh the following day (December 12th) as well as what looks to be another 2,800 MWh of curtailed generation. The combined cost was approximately $10,306,000 and for 17 of the 24 hours they beat hydro generation.

Naturally, and as often occurs, we didn’t need the generation from those IWT so IESO were busy exporting surplus power for the full day and almost 52,000 MWh were sold to our neighbours in Michigan, NY and Quebec for the average price of $20.03/MWh (2 cents/kWh). What that tells us is we generated about $1,042,000 from the sale of those exports.

If one assumes (with a fair degree of confidence) those 52,000 MWh sold to our neighbours all came from the unneeded IWT generation for the day we basically gave away over $7 million of our ratepayer/taxpayer dollars and paid $388/MWh (38.8 cents/kWh) for the 23,849 MWh of IWT generation actually utilized in Ontario.  

I’m sure the owners of those IWT were delighted we Ontarians were so generous with the handouts we gave them instead of us giving gifts to those many families suffering from “energy poverty” throughout the province.

Perhaps the Ford led provincial government should have a serious look at how some of these wasted dollars could be recovered from the IWT owners to help those Ontario families and small businesses suffering from energy poverty caused by the intermittent and unreliable wind turbines.  

Hour 19 on December 8, 2021 Shows Why Ontario needs Gas Generation

Should one bother to look at the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) data for hour 19 on December 8th one would note Ontario’s natural gas plants thankfully produced 30.4% (6,399 MWh) of the entire hour’s generation which was just over 21,000 MWh. Without gas generation Ontarians would have experienced rolling backouts much like California does on high demand days.

While gas plants were thankfully, at the ready, our nuclear (8,510 MWh) and hydro (5,076 MWh) plants were reliant as always, generating 64.7% of the hour’s needs.  Collectively those three dependable sectors produced 95.1% of the entire hour’s generation. The balance of 4.9% (1,033 MWh), largely unneeded, came from wind, and biomass as the sun had set so no solar generation was produced.

Ontario demand during the hour was a shade over 20,000 MWh so IESO exported the unneeded generation to Quebec (556 MWh), NY ((369 MWh) and Michigan (452 MWh) and thankfully because demand was higher due to the colder weather the market driven HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) averaged $94.44/MWh meaning the cost of the surplus generation had a minor impact on costs paid by the ratepayers and taxpayers of the province.

It seems strange Ontario’s ratepayers are much better off when the sun isn’t shining or the winds not blowing hard but that is what the GEEA (Green Energy and Economy Act) brought us.

On an unusually cold day like December 8th we should be thankful for the readily available gas plant generation we have. Those gas plants (contracted to backup intermittent and unreliable wind and solar generation) ensured we would not be hampered by rolling blackouts.

So, all you municipal politicians in Ottawa, Toronto and elsewhere in the province, PLEASE tell us why you are demanding those reliable gas plants should be shut down! 

Energy Poverty the One Economic Activity Growing in Developed Countries

Four years ago, I penned an article about how the GEA (Green Energy Act) had driven up “energy poverty” in Ontario.  The article was supported by data from various sources with the principal one being an OEB (Ontario Energy Board) report from late 2014. The OEB report determined Ontario households experiencing energy poverty numbered either 606,000 or 713.000 based on the two data sets used and represented either 13.5% or 15.8% of all households! The report was initiated by the then Energy Minister, Bob Chiarelli, who was looking to launch a new support program as electricity prices had jumped and many households were seeing their electric power cut-off by their local distribution companies.

Now, fast forward to a report by CUSP (Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners) in October 2019 titled “Energy Poverty in Canada” who used 2016 Census data from Statistics Canada and noted households experiencing energy poverty in Ontario had increased to 1,138.065 or just over 22%.  The chart from CUSP’s report below highlights PEI as the province with the highest percentage of households experiencing energy poverty at over 41%.  PEI gets “roughly 98% of power generation from wind farms” with the balance from New Brunswick.  

It is worth noting Canada is not the only country experiencing an increase in energy poverty as reports out of the UK and the EU also highlight how the push to de-fossilize the electricity sector is doing the same thing to households in many other “developed” countries. 

One article dated November 29, 2021 was about Scotland, where the recent UNCOP26 “climate change conference” was held. The article noted there was “a 139 per cent increase in people seeking debt relief support,“ but only a “41 per cent increase in debt relief given out by energy firms, which has resulted in more people disconnecting from the grid year-round.“ The article went on to quote the chief executive of the Wise Group who prepared the report and quoted him stating: “Almost a quarter of Scots live in fuel poverty.”                                     

An article appearing in the magazine “Energy Industry Review” and their website from August 10, 2021 was headlined: “Energy Poverty: A Time Bomb Waiting to Be Defused“ suggests the UK and many EU members are already in dire straits in respect to energy poverty but it varies widely from country to country. The below chart notes some countries have less than 10% of their population experiencing “energy poverty” whereas other countries like Greece and Bulgaria experience over 40%.  The article stresses the geographical differences in EU member countries and how both heat and cold play a hand in causing energy poverty.  The article appears intent on ensuring the EU stick to its goals of reducing fossil fuel consumption and emphasizes money allocated (EUR 312.5 billion of the Next Generation EU [NGEU]) by the EU for improving buildings and homes to make them more fuel efficient is needed.

Yet another article, mere days before COP26 kicked off reported “4.5 million Britons are desperate, facing cuts to welfare, rising energy prices and a long, cold winter.“  It provided a few specific examples noting how energy costs had doubled.  The article also said; while the UK Energy Regulator, Ofgem, caps energy price increases the caps “only apply to households on a standard variable tariff. The rest have little protection. And those reliant on prepayment meters are particularly vulnerable“.  It appears the UK’s PM Boris Johnson’s push for net-zero emissions and renewable generation as the means to achieve his goal is failing miserably. The foregoing was clearly demonstrated by those off-shore industrial wind turbines failing to deliver power requiring coal plants to come back on line to avoid blackouts. It appears those coal plants will be needed for the future too!  The shortage of natural gas, evident in the fall, is not expected to improve until the new Nord Stream 2 Gazprom pipeline receives the blessing of Germany’s regulator followed by approval of the European Commission. Both approvals will take time.

It now appears obvious the push by most developed countries to achieve the “net-zero” emission target by 2050 is futile unless the reputed WEF (World Economic Forum) forecast “by 2030 you’ll own nothing and be happy ” has changed to “by 2030 you’ll own nothing and live-in energy poverty”!

Winds Whips Hydro in Ontario or So It Appears

As December 1, 2021 drew to a close at Hour 22 on the IESO “Generators Output and Capability Report” wind generation suddenly passed hydro generation and stayed ahead of it for the following 20 hours, pausing at Hour 19 on December 2nd but passing hydro again for hours 20 and 21.  Over those 23 hours wind (as reported by IESO) reputedly out-produced Ontario’s hydro generation by almost 21,000 MWh.  Based on IESO data it appears about 2,700 MWh of wind generation was also curtailed. What IESO data doesn’t disclose is how much hydro was spilled over those 23 hours.

For wind and solar data IESO report it on three lines by hour; “Available Capacity, Forecast and Output”.  When hydro is “spilled” or nuclear is “steamed off” we won’t see that reported by IESO and are uninformed until financial reports from OPG or Bruce Power are released.  OPG’s 9-month financial report for September 30, 2021 indicates they spilled 1.7 TWh (terawatt hours) due to SBG (surplus baseload generation) to that point in the year.  Hydro spillage is paid for by ratepayers and so far, has added over $100 million to this year’s electricity bill. The 1.7 TWh is equivalent to (approximately) what 250,000 average households would have consumed over those 9 months.

The reasoning by IESO as to whether they will spill hydro or curtail wind (which we also pay for) is reputedly determined by the HOEP (hourly Ontario electricity price). Most contracted IWT (industrial wind turbines) are paid $135/MWh and $120/MWh if curtailed.  IESO in situations that create SBG will sell off the surplus (if the HOEP is high enough) before they spill hydro or steam off nuclear.  It has never been clear to many why the contracts awarded for either IWT or solar panels were granted “first to the grid” rights but both of those intermittent and unreliable generation sources were, so we must pay them even if the generation is unneeded!

A quick look at the costs for those 23 hours  

The 2,700 MWh (approximately) of curtailed wind meant generators were paid $120/MWh costing $324,000. Those same IWT generators were paid $135/MWh for the 98,800 MWh of accepted wind amounting to $13,338,000.  To top off the costs for the 23 hours favouring wind generation, OPG was paid $60/MWh for spilling hydro (minimally estimated at 21,000 MWh) adding $1,260.000 and bringing total costs to $14,922,000 for the 23 hours!                                        

The $14,922,000 represents a cost of $151/MWh for the 98,800 MWh of accepted wind generation but doesn’t include costs associated with the gas plant backups for wind and solar which would add another $3 million or so for the 23 hours nor does it include losses from selling power to our neighbours.

On the latter, IESO were selling off approximately 2,500 MW hourly to our neighbours in Michigan, NY etc. for the HOEP average price of about $30/MWh. Those 60,000 MWh therefore generated about $1.8 million reducing the total cost above to $13,122,000.  If we accept the fact those exports were IWT generated the remaining 38,800 MWh supplying local ratepayers cost $340/MWh.

Had OPG provided those 38,800 MWh the cost would have been $60/MWh ($2.3 million) saving Ontario ratepayers over $12 Million!

One should wonder why the McGuinty/Wynne government blessed those contracts and why the Ford led government has done nothing to fix it?

Events like those 23 hours clearly show wind whips Ontario’s ratepayers not it’s hydro generation!

NB: Over the days of December 1st and 2nd during one of the hours wind was generating almost 93% of its capacity and on another hour was generating only 15% demonstrating its intermittent and unreliable habit!

Oops, They did it again and again—those Industrial Wind Turbines

Ontario’s industrial wind turbines (IWT) recently reminded me of the Britney Spears hit in the year 2000, “Opps…I Did It Again” and like she repeated in the song; Ontario’s IWT have, “done it again”!  How wind performed on November 9, 2021 is atypical! At the midnight hour those IWT generated quite a bit of unneeded power running at 37% of rated capacity (4,568MW) generating 1,693 MW but eleven hours later they were generating only 65 MW and running at 1.5% of rated capacity (4,307MW) when demand was considerably higher.

If we jump ahead to the following day November 10, 2021, at Hour 5 (5AM to 6AM) those IWT were running at 21.4% of their capacity generating 959 MW but by 11 AM their output had collapsed and they were running at only 1.7 % of capacity producing 72 MW despite the fact demand had increased quite a bit from 5 AM.

As one should surmise, unlike nuclear, hydro or gas generation; IWT (solar also) generation is dependent on the weather. As is obvious, from just the past two days, IWT are extremely intermittent and therefore should be considered unreliable. Thanks to the McGuinty/Wynne led Ontario Liberals IWT were granted special treatment commanding “first to the grid” advantageous rights.

Needless to say, Ontario’s grid operator, IESO, must deal with the vagaries of generation from IWT presumably causing much more intense scrutiny in situations where demand is increasing but variable generation from wind and solar is falling. The same situation applies when demand is falling but variable generation from IWT are quickly rising.  Their job would be much easier without variable generation and ratepayer bills would undoubtedly be quite a bit lower!

It would be a much better scenario without variable wind and solar instead of getting ready for the “Oops” when we in Ontario experience the problems they had to confront  in California, South Australia, the UK (in time for COP 26) and of course the Texas power crisis in February of this year that cost many lives.

Hey, Premier Ford, take away the special rights granted to those IWT and: “don’t, do it again”!

PS: A contact of mine sent me this graph that shows the ups and downs of industrial wind generation outlined above. A picture is worth a thousand words as the expression goes!

Strathmere Group Declaration target # 4:

Strengthen investments in renewable energy and in energy efficiency and conservation through creating new clean energy jobs and increasing prosperity through new technologies.

This “declaration” went on to state: “energy security is best achieved through investment in the cleanest available energy and through ending our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Needless to say, Ontario ratepayers are well aware this particular “declaration” had already started to unfold prior to the signing of the joint letter in Washington on June 2, 2009.  Gerald Butts, one of the signatures on the joint declaration as the CEO of the WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund) was instrumental in the creation of the GEGEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) in Ontario.  The Act received third reading and royal ascent on May 14, 2009 almost a month before the “joint declaration” was signed. An excellent article by Terence Corcoran of the Financial Post from five years ago noted: “Prior to the 2007 election, Butts was a McGuinty insider. After the election, he became McGuinty’s principal adviser. As one of his biographical notes describes it, Butts “was intimately involved in all of the government’s significant environmental initiatives, from the Greenbelt and Boreal Conservation plan to the coal phase-out and toxic reduction strategy.”

What followed was spelled out in the Ontario Auditor General’s press release of December 2015 disclosing the cost of renewable contracts under the GEGEA was $37 billion to the end of 2014 and would cost another $133 billion up to the end of the contracts. To add fuel to the fire Ontario’s Liberal Party, under Kathleen Wynne, on January 1, 2017 launched their “cap & trade” program joining Quebec and BC.  The foregoing may have occurred because PM Justin Trudeau had announced in early October 2016, he would impose a price on carbon beginning in 2018 if any provinces didn’t have one.  At that time Gerald Butts was his Principal Secretary and his puppet master.  Again, as we in Ontario know, when the Ford government was elected, he cancelled Wynne’s “cap & trade” program! 

In early 2017 the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change was issued and recommended a carbon tax starting at $10/ton on January 1, 2018 increasing by $10 each year to a maximum of $50 per ton. The Framework only loosely focused on achieving “net-zero” targeting only “new buildings”.  Suddenly on December 11, 2020 with the country in a Covid-19 lockdown Trudeau and his new Environment Minister, Jonathon Wilkinson announced the carbon tax would be expanded to $170 ton to wean us all off of “fossil fuels”. The pretext was it was being done so Canada could meet its Paris Agreement targets.

The impact of raising the tax to that level was spelled out in a Fraser Institute report which noted: “In this study, we present an analysis using a large empirical model of the Canadian economy that indicates that the tax will have substantial negative impacts, including a 1.8% decline in Gross Domestic Product and the net loss of about 184,000 jobs, even after taking account of jobs created by new government spending and household rebates of the carbon charges. The drop in GDP works out to about $1,540 in current dollars per employed person.” The report forecasted the carbon tax of $170/ton would create additional debt of $22 billion and noted almost 50% of the job losses (78.000) would be in Ontario.

To top things off when Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland tabled her budget on April 19, 2021 it was full of spending plans aimed at supporting renewable energy and ending fossil fuel use. The budget contained $17 billion in spending plans and tax relief measures including $5 billion for the “Net Zero Accelerator” additional to the $3 billion previously committed! The $8 billion seems aimed at large emitting companies like those in the steel and cement business.  Another $4.4 billion was earmarked to “retrofit” residential buildings.  Also included were generous tax breaks (50% for 10 years) for companies manufacturing electric vehicles, (NB: They and the Ontario government handed Ford $590 million of our tax dollars a year ago for EV manufacturing at their Oakville plant), solar panels and presumably the world’s largest wind turbine blades at 107 metres long to a Quebec company who just received $25 million! 

The Trudeau led government also on June 29, 2021 announced they were speeding up the goal to have every light duty vehicle sold by 2035 to be “zero emissions” vehicles rather than 2040.  The Minister of Transport, Alghabra has already handed out $600 million of our tax dollars as rebates to those purchasing EV and now wants more!

It seems pretty clear the Strathmere Group, with the leadership of Gerald Butts in respect to this particular declaration, will brag they have been successful at achieving it. It was done with great pain to taxpayers, ratepayers, Canadian families and our business community with an emphasis on small and medium sized companies who due to the financial effects of escalating costs lost their competitiveness or moved to a more welcoming community.  

What they actually accomplished was neither the creation of “clean energy jobs” or increased “prosperity”!

Open letter to the Honourable Todd Smith, Ontario Minister of Energy

Dear Minister Smith,

Re:  Oneida Battery Park Project

I recently note you sent a letter dated August 27, 2021, to Ms. Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in respect to the captioned.  The letter instructed IESO to negotiate a “draft” contract with the parties proposing the 250 MW battery storage project.

I was pleased to observe you couched your directive with the following instructions:

I will not consider a directive to the IESO asking it to execute the drafted final contract until:

• National Resources Canada’s determination regarding the $50 million in funding under the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program is known; and

• The ownership of the project is fully clarified, including the equity participation of both NRStor and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp.”

Along the lines of your directive I sincerely hope you are aware of an article I penned January 23, 2021 partially analyzing the project when it was first announced in a press release from the Federal taxpayer owned Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB).  The press release indicated the CIB would invest $170 million of our hard-earned tax dollars. My article attempted to point out the negative impact the project would have on Ontario ratepayers despite our tax dollars being thrown at the project.  It now appears another $50 million of our tax dollars may be slated to join the $170 million already committed!

The other issue which I would point out is in respect to what recently occurred to a similar project in Southeast Australia.  An article on August 5, 2021 on the CNBC website was headlined: “Tesla Megapack fire highlights issues to be solved for utility ‘big batteries”.  The article noted: “There have been around 40 known fires that have occurred within large-scale, lithium-ion battery energy storage systems,” which should be considered; if this project is allowed to proceed.

What I wish to reiterate to you and IESO is; you must recall the Green Energy and Green Economy Act caused Ontario’s electricity rates to spike by well over 100%.  Projects such as this will add further costs to the system and negatively impact ratepayers including small and medium sized companies.  The effects will be a reduction in employment, drive manufacturers and other businesses elsewhere and create further energy poverty.

The possibility of fires on large-scale lithium-ion battery energy storage systems also cannot be ignored.  A fire such as happened in 40 cases would simply serve to increase emissions as would the mega batteries relatively short life span and their eventual disposal.

I sincerely hope the Ontario Ministry of Energy and IESO will bear the foregoing in mind before any approval is granted to proceed!

Your very truly,

Parker Gallant,

Parker Gallant Energy Perspectives

Gas Plants Saved Ontarians from Rolling Blackouts During Peak Demand Month

While the month and year are not over yet it appears that August 2021 will win the prize for most peak hours. Despite being a few days away from the arrival of September, August looks set to dominate as eight (8) of the ten (10) peak demand hours have occurred in August. Based on weather forecasts; demand should fall over the balance of the month and into early September.

August 26, 2021 peak demand hour (ending at hour 15) looks set to be the second highest at 22,740 MW but may be subject to minor adjustment by IESO. August 24, 2021 ending at hour 17 currently stands as the highest (22,956 MW) peak demand hour so far this year.

It is interesting to pull together some of the data for those eight “peak demand” August hours to examine how we made it through without experiencing rolling blackouts or brownouts!

Cumulatively the eight August peak demand hours show total Ontario demand was 178,645 MWh and the bulk of that was provided by nuclear and hydro which we tend to think of as “baseload” power although hydro is flexible (we can simply spill it) and some nuclear (Bruce) can be steamed off.

Those familiar with the electricity system in Ontario and the GEA (green energy act) will recall industrial wind turbines (IWT) were granted “first to the grid” rights treating them as ranking higher than baseload power.  That changed as we were frequently flooded with excess power (particularly from IWT) due to their intermittent and unreliable output and had to pay our neighbours to take the excess! The ability of IWT and solar to produce power when it was actually needed escaped the politicians (McGuinty/Wynne) thought processes so eventually IWT generators agreed to be paid for “curtailing” their generation. Their tendency is to generate power in the low demand periods of the Spring and Fall!

So, the question is, how did IWT and solar perform during those (8) August “peak hours”?

As it turns out wind and solar managed (on a combined basis) to only produce 5,593 MWh (an average of 872 MW per hour) over the 8 peak hours which represented a mere 4.9% of demand.  Ontario gas plants which are referenced as “peaking plants” were thankfully at the ready and generated 47,808 MWh or 26.8% of “peak demand”.

What the foregoing highlights is that without gas plants Ontario ratepayers would have experienced both rolling brownouts and blackouts for those 8 peak hours along with many other August hours and days that were devoid of meaningful “renewable” (IWT & solar) generation.

Based on the foregoing we ratepayers would appreciate those thirty (30) municipalities and their elected representatives to explain exactly why they endorsed the OCAA’s (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) push to tell the Provincial Government to shut down all of Ontario’s gas plants.  As an alternative they should simply rescind their council motion(s) directing the Ontario Minister of Energy to shut the gas plants!

Do those municipalities have a solution for rolling blackouts and brownouts that would be caused by the lack of “peaking power” or are they simply delusional politicians?

You be the judge!